California has the fifth highest rate of union membership in the country among its work force.
A recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals 17.5 percent of workers in the state -- more than 2.4 million people -- to be union members in 2010. That's up 0.3 percentage points from the year before.
For the entire U.S., the average rate of union membership is just under 12 percent. Membership rates have steadily declined since record keeping began in 1983, when more than 20 percent of American workers were represented by a union.
California rates have fluctuated between 15.5 percent in 2000 and 18.4 percent in 2008.
“California being a fairly high manufacturing state … it’s still a significant sector and will maintain its union membership status,” said Todd Johnson, an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statics.